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USC splits dual meet with UCLA

USC freshman sprinter Josh Mance started the second leg of a 4x400 relay race against UCLA Saturday running at the pace of a brisk jog.

He was already way ahead of the Bruins' Brian Law, by virtue of an impressive leadoff sprint by Bryshon Nellum. But when Law started to come closer and threaten him midway through the lap at USC's Cromwell Field, Mance turned on the jets and beat him to the transfer area by 10 or so seconds.

It was the same for third runner Duane Walker and Reggie Wyatt, who ran the anchor leg. The Trojans won the meet-ending event by under two seconds but likely would have won it by a lot more had they taken the first half of each 400-meter leg seriously. It was a curious way to end the annual USC-UCLA dual meet, which the Bruin men won, handily, 89-74.

They clinched the victory during the 5000-meter, the second to last race of the day. The USC women beat the Lady Bruins for their fourth straight dual meet victory, 95-58, securing the win on a 200-meter dash sweep.

Event organizers took to microphones prior to the start of the final relay, calling for all UCLA and USC participants to split apart to separate sides of the track stadium in an attempt to prevent any conflicts.

USC had swept both the men's and women's competitions for the last two years, including a 2009 men's edition that came down to the final 4x400 relay. But UCLA entered into the event Sunday favored to win the men's competitions.